SANDPOINT — At 15 years old, William Greenway of Sandpoint is on his way to a future of technology and marketing.
In the spring of his freshman year at Forrest M. Bird Charter School, around March or April, Greenway embarked on school project which he then took "a little bit further," he said.
From that project, Reggie Robotics was born.
Reggie, a home inspection rover, was an idea that came to Greenway after he saw how difficult it was for his dad to crawl around under the house to look for things like leaks in the water pipes.
"Those can be very tight spaces and can have a lot of hazards," Greenway said.
Reggie is controlled by a standard remote control and is equipped with a camera. A micro-USB port can be plugged into a television, and a file is then uploaded so the viewer can see what the camera sees. Greenway said the camera comes with three modes: day mode, night mode and infrared. Infrared allows the rover to see gases other things that potentially would not be seen with a regular camera or the naked eye.
"That really sets it apart," Greenway said. "It's also very thin, so if you need to get through something you can get under the pipes without having to crawl under there. And the differential thrust on the wheels allows it to crawl over anything really easily, just slower."
Reggie is less than three-and-one-half inches tall.
Greenway became interested in technology when in second grade when his uncle taught him to connect a small DC (direct current) motor to a AA battery. He started out putting the motor on his toy trains.
"After that I started buying little cars and taking them apart, trying to build my own things out of them," Greenway said. "Then I bought a soldering gun and started trying to develop my skills more."
And then XCraft came into the area and Greenway started building aerial drones. Greenway said the success of JD Claridge and XCraft, a local drone manufacturing company that was featured on the show "Shark Tank," has taught him to "think outside of the box."
Greenway said he has been trying his hand in marketing for awhile, building drones, creating YouTube channels and websites. Reggie Robotics is the first business that he believes will succeed and grow. Greenway already has a waiting list for the product, but is looking toward a Kickstarter campaign to get Reggie manufactured in the quantity needed to run a successful business. XCraft, along with being featured on "Shark Tank," also found success with Kickstarter campaigns. Greenway plans to have the Kickstarter campaign up in the next month.
Reggie takes about one week to build and is not an easy task, Greenway said. His cost is around $200. The basic version of Reggie retails for around $500 and the "pro" version retails for $720. Greenway said the difference is the more expensive version has a viewing screen for when someone does not have immediate access to a television, a case, and more modes to choose from.
"It is a little bit beefier, but it is still the same size — just upgraded," Greenway said.
He is developing an app for Reggie as well that will send a text to the app-holder's phone if there is a burglary in the home or if the cat knocks something over, so it will be a home security rover as well as home inspection.
Information and contact: www.reggierobotics.com.